Helmets for Cyclists vs. Full Body Armor for Drivers


A couple of recent posts on biking and Hollywood have generated a few streams of comment: people don't look cool on bikes because helmets are goofy, helmets aren't necessary, and helmets are mandatory. We've previously weighed in on the relative cerebral risks of cycling vs. driving. Last month's LA Times story on the "helmetization of the U.S." takes a recreational slant, examining the efficacy of head gear sprouting up throughout the sporting world. While consumers are more willing to become helmet heads, head gear in general needs more research before it becomes mandatory in most sports. Apparently, cycling boo boos topped the list of leisure time head injuries at 69,476 in 2004, with motorized recreational vehicles knocking out a distant second at 27,213. When we once again add "non-recreational" driving to the mix, however, we see that in 2004 there were 42,636 driving fatalities in the US. Meanwhile, approximately 800 fatalities result from the annual cycling activities of 85 million adults and children. Clearly, cycling poses noggin risks, but driving is downright dangerous. Yes, wear a good-fitting helmet, but know that not wearing one is much less risky than climbing into your hybrid. ::LA Times Photo by Dan Burden